The impact of the economic shutdown in the U.S. caused by the COVID-19 pandemic swelled Thursday when the latest tally of Americans applying for unemployment benefits topped 6 million once again to hit 6.6 million for the week ended April 4.
The latest weekly number dwarfs, by far, the largest halt to employment seen during the 2008 financial crisis, which never topped 700,000 and is only a marginal tick lower from last week’s 6.8 million number.
Totaling the headline jobless claims number from the last three weeks reveals an astounding 16.5 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance since the coronavirus crisis hit. However, the impact is hitting some states harder than others. Last week’s record unemployment surge was particularly felt in Southern states like Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, which showed some of the largest percentage spikes in unemployment claims.
But totaling the largest upticks in unemployment claims on a state level since the crisis began, reveals Michigan has been hardest hit, with claims last week spiking more than 7,100% over totals seen the week ending March 14. California and Pennsylvania led the nation from a sheer total jobless claims perspective, but interestingly, despite being the hardest hit state in terms of coronavirus cases, New York trails both those states and Michigan in total jobless claims since the outbreak began.
Following Michigan and Southern states Georgia and Alabama, New Hampshire and Virginia round out the top five states showing the largest percentage spikes to unemployment claims when compared with last week’s totals to those reported for the week ending March 14.